Vicki Breakell - Reinstating natural processes to an area of ancient woodland in Kent by using European Bison
Tue, Sep 6th 2022
In the heart of Kent lies one of the largest areas of ancient woodland in England, The Blean. Totalling almost 3,000 hectares of mixed conifer plantation and deciduous woodland, the management of the site requires a huge human investment of time and resources. Introducing the European Bison, a large herbivore classified as ‘Near Threatened’ on the IUCN Red List, to an enclosed area of the Blean not only provides a more natural approach to land management, but has the potential to create complex habitats that benefit a broader range of species. Undertaking a project of this scale will undoubtedly pose a number of challenges and require thorough planning, research and a collaborative approach. Two organisations have formed a formidable partnership to make this dream a reality; the Wildwood Trust, a British native species wildlife park situated within a 44-acre section of the Blean and Kent Wildlife Trust, a landscape scale conservation charity that owns and manages the largest proportion of the Blean woodland. This presentation provides an insight into the considerations and planning processes involved in undertaking a project on this scale.
After graduating from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent with a Bachelor’s degree in Biodiversity and Conservation Management, Vicki Breakell joined the Wildwood Trust in 2009 as a Conservation Officer. Vicki's role has varied greatly within this time including assisting with water vole conservation breeding and mitigation work, managing the Trust's conservation grazing projects, overseeing research collaborations and providing support to a number of conservation programmes including working alongside our partners at Kent Wildlife Trust to deliver the Wilder Blean project.
Free to ANHSO members.